Shalya Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 01 Apr 2010 09:26 and updated at 01 Apr 2010 09:26


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Section 10

Sanjaya said, Beholding the army broken, the valiant king of the Madras, addressed his driver, saying, Quickly urge these steeds endued with the fleetness of thought. Yonder stays king Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, looking resplendent with the umbrella held over his head. Take me thither with speed, O driver, and witness my might. The Parthas are unable to stand before me in battle Thus addressed, the driver of the Madra king proceeded to that spot where stood king Yudhishthira the just of true aim. Shalya fell suddenly upon the mighty host of the Pandavas. Alone, he checked it like the continent checking the surging sea. Indeed, the large force of the Pandavas, coming against Shalya, O sire, stood still in that battle, like the rushing sea upon encountering a mountain. Beholding the ruler of the Madras standing for battle on the field, the Kauravas returned, making death their goal. After they had returned, O king, and separately taken up their positions in well-formed array, an awful battle set in, in which blood flowed freely like water.

The invincible Nakula encountered Chitrasena. These two heroes, both of whom were excellent bowmen, approaching, drenched each other with showers of arrows in that battle, like two pouring clouds risen in the welkin on the south and the north. I could not mark any difference between the son of Pandu and his antagonist. Both of them were accomplished in weapons, both endued with might, and both conversant with the practices of car-warriors. Each bent upon slaying the other, they carefully looked for each other's lapses. Then Chitrasena, O monarch, with a broad-headed shaft, well-tempered and sharp, cut off Nakula's bow at the handle. Fearlessly then the son of Karna struck the bowless Nakula at the forehead with three shafts equipped with wings of gold and whetted on stone. With a few other keen arrows he then despatched Nakula's steeds to Yama's abode. Next, he felled both the standard and the driver of his antagonist, each with three arrows. With those three arrows sped from the arms of his foe sticking to his fore-head, Nakula, O king, looked beautiful like a mountain with three crests.

Deprived of his bow and his cars, the brave Nakula, taking up a sword, jumped down from his vehicle like a lion from a mountain-summit. As, however, he rushed on foot, his antagonist poured a shower of arrows upon him. Possessed of active prowess, Nakula received that arrowy shower on his shield. Getting at the car then of Chitrasena, the mighty-armed hero, the son of Pandu, conversant with all modes of warfare and incapable of being tired with exertion, ascended it in the very sight of all the troops. The son of Pandu then cut off from Chitrasena's trunk his diadem-decked head adorned with ear-rings, and graced with a beautiful nose and a pair of large eyes. At this, Chitrasena, endued with the splendour of the sun, fell down on the terrace of his car. Beholding Chitrasena slain, all the great car-warriors there uttered loud cries of praise and many leonine roars. Meanwhile, the two sons of Karna, Sushena and Satyasena, both of whom were great car-warriors, beholding their brother slain, shot showers of keen shafts. Those foremost of car-warriors rushed with speed against the son of Pandu like a couple of tigers, O king, in the deep forest rushing against an elephant from desire of slaying him. Both of them poured their keen shafts upon the mighty car-warrior Nakula.

Indeed, as they poured those shafts, they resembled two masses of clouds pouring rain in torrents. Though pierced with arrows all over, the valiant and heroic son of Pandu cheerfully took up another bow after ascending on another car, and stood in battle like the Destroyer himself in rage. Then those two brothers, O monarch, with their straight shafts, cut off Nakula's car into fragments. Then Nakula, laughing, smote the four steeds of Satyasena with four whetted and keen shafts in that encounter. Aiming a long shaft equipped with wings of gold, the son of Pandu then cut off, O monarch, the bow of Satyasena. At this, the latter, mounting on another car and taking up another bow, as also his brother Sushena, rushed against the son of Pandu. The valiant son of Madri fearlessly pierced each of them, O monarch, with couple of shafts at the van of battle. Then the mighty car-warrior Sushena, filled with wrath, cut off in that battle, laughing the while, the formidable bow of Pandu's son with a razor-headed arrow. Then Nakula, insensate with rage, took up another bow and pierced Sushena with five arrows and struck his standard with one. Without losing a moment, he then cut off the bow and the leathern fence of Satyasena also, O sire, at which all the troops there uttered a loud shout.

Satyasena, taking up another foe-slaying bow that was capable of bearing a great strain, shrouded the son of Pandu with arrows from every side. Baffling those arrows, Nakula, that slayer of hostile heroes, pierced each of his antagonists with a couple of shafts. Each of the latter separately pierced the son of Pandu in return with many straight-coursing shaft. Next they pierced Nakula's driver also with many keen shafts. The valiant Satyasena then, endued with great lightness of hand, cut off without his brother's help the shafts of Nakula's car and his bow with a couple of arrows. The Atiratha Nakula, however, staying on his car, took up a dart equipped with a golden handle and a very keen point, and steeped in oil and exceedingly bright. It resembled, O lord, a she-snake of virulent poison, frequently darting out her tongue. Raising that weapon he hurled it at Satyasena in that encounter. That dart, O king, pierced the heart of Satyasena in that battle and reduced it into a hundred fragments. Deprived of his senses and life, he fell down upon the Earth from his car.

Beholding his brother slain, Sushena, insensate with rage, suddenly made Nakula carless in that battle. Without losing a moment, he poured his arrows over the son of Pandu fighting on foot. Seeing Nakula carless, the mighty car-warrior Sutasoma, the son of Draupadi, rushed to that spot for rescuing his sire in battle. Mounting then upon the car of Sutasoma, Nakula, that hero of Bharata's race, looked beautiful like a lion upon a mountain. Then taking up another bow, he fought with Sushena. Those two great car-warriors, approaching each other, and shooting showers of arrows, endeavoured to encompass each other's destruction. Then Sushena, filled with rage, struck the son of Pandu with three shafts and Sutasoma with twenty in the arms and the chest. At this, the impetuous Nakula, O monarch, that slayer of hostile heroes, covered all the points of the compass with arrows. Then taking up a sharp shaft endued with great energy and equipped with a semi-circular head, Nakula sped it with great force at Karna's son in that battle. With that arrow, O best of kings, the son of Pandu cut off from Sushena's trunk the latter's head in the very sight of all the troops.

That feat seemed exceedingly wonderful. Thus slain by the illustrious Nakula, Karna's son fell down like a lofty tree on the bank of a river thrown down by the current of the stream. Beholding the slaughter of Karna's sons and the prowess of Nakula, thy army, O bull of Bharata's race, fled away in fear. Their commander, however, the brave and valiant ruler of the Madras, that chastiser of foes, then protected, O monarch, those troops in that battle. Rallying his host, O king, Shalya stood fearlessly in battle, uttering loud leonine roars and causing his bow to twang fiercely. Then thy troops, O king, protected in battle by that firm bowman, cheerfully proceeded against the foe once more from every side. Those high-souled warriors, surrounding that great bowman, the ruler of the Madras, stood, O king, desirous of battling on every side. Then Satyaki, and Bhimasena, and those two Pandavas, the twin sons of Madri, placing that chastiser of foes and abode of modesty, Yudhishthira, at their head, and surrounding him on all sides in that battle, uttered leonine roars. And those heroes also caused a loud whizz with the arrows they shot and frequently indulged in diverse kinds of shouts. Smilingly, all thy warriors, filled with rage, speedily encompassed the ruler of the Madras and stood from desire of battle.

Then commenced a battle, inspiring the timid with fear, between thy soldiers and the enemy, both of whom made death their goal. That battle between fearless combatants, enhancing the population of Yama's kingdom, resembled, O monarch, that between the gods and the Asuras in days of yore. Then the ape-bannered son of Pandu, O king, having slaughtered the Samsaptakas in battle, rushed against that portion of the Kaurava army. Smiling, all the Pandavas, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, rushed against the same division, shooting showers of keen arrows. Overwhelmed by the Pandavas, the Kaurava host became stupefied. Indeed, those divisions then could not discern the cardinal point from the subsidiary points of the compass. Covered with keen arrows sped by the Pandavas, the Kaurava army, deprived of its foremost warriors, wavered and broke on all sides. Indeed, O Kaurava, that host of thine began to be slaughtered by the mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas. Similarly, the Pandava host, O king, began to be slaughtered in hundreds and thousands in that battle by thy sons on every side with their arrows. While the two armies, exceedingly excited, were thus slaughtering each other, they became much agitated like two streams in the season of rains.

During the progress of that dreadful battle, O monarch, a great fear entered the hearts of thy warriors as also those of the Pandavas

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